Conflict: How people contest the landscape

Ulm, Sean and Mate, Geraldine (2010) Conflict: How people contest the landscape. Queensland Historical Atlas: Histories, Cultures, Landscapes, 2009-2010 .

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Author Ulm, Sean
Mate, Geraldine
Title Conflict: How people contest the landscape
Journal name Queensland Historical Atlas: Histories, Cultures, Landscapes
ISSN 1838-708X
Publication date 2010-12-06
Sub-type Article (original research)
Volume 2009-2010
Total pages 6
Editor Peter Spearritt
Marion Stell
Place of publication Brisbane, QLD, Australia
Publisher Queensland Historical Atlas
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Conflict is fundamental in shaping the Queensland landscape. Landscapes are always tensioned, nourishing and sustaining multiple meanings and perspectives. The contours of tensioned landscapes are formed by conflict – over resources, worldviews, ideologies – woven into the very fabric of the land through the entanglement of people and place. Conflict in the landscape can work at multiple levels and scales and rarely involves physical violence per se. War cenotaphs and memorials, for example, insert conflicts into landscapes from other times in distant lands. These form the focus for reflection, grief, pride and protest expressed on occasions like Anzac Day and Remembrance Day. That is not to say that violent conflict has not been written into Queensland landscapes, such as the shooting and drowning of 300 Aboriginal men, women and children at Goulbolba Hill in Central Queensland in 1876 or the Japanese torpedoing of the Centaur off Moreton Island in 1943 with the loss of over 250 women and men. But conflict is also enfolded in the landscape in other ways that we might not immediately recognise. There is contestation over the very remains of people in the landscape, evident in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander demands to repatriate ancestral remains removed from cultural places, and public outrage at the desecration of graves during the widening of Hale Street in Brisbane in the 1990s. At the other end of the spectrum, conflict over drinking rights ranges from actor Sigrid Thornton’s mother Merle chaining herself to the bar of the Regatta Hotel in Toowong, Brisbane, in 1965 to demand the right of women to drink in public bars, to riots against restrictions imposed by Alcohol Management Plans in north Queensland Indigenous communities.

In these ways, conflict is central in producing meaning in the landscape. The changeable quality of landscape provides spaces for resilience and reconciliation, suppression and celebration, remembrance and grief, and potential for supporting competing stories about the landscape.
Keyword Conflict
Tensioned landscapes
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Date created: 6 December 2010

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit Publications
Official 2011 Collection
Version Filter Type
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Created: Fri, 31 Dec 2010, 11:51:00 EST by Sean Ulm on behalf of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit